>Our Own Worlds<

A Speculative Fiction Community for Independent Writers & Readers

The Conflicted Reader

3 min read

I love books. I always have. I remember sitting at the bottom of the stairs, running my fingers along my mum’s bookcase, marvelling at the different types of books on the shelves. Choosing one at random and turning the pages with almost religious fervour, relishing that booky smell and being delighted by the written word.

I viewed the arrival of the e-book reader with a whiff of disdain if I’m honest. I thought it would be a flash in the pan. Why would anyone want to read an e-book when they could get the real thing? So I was most definitely not an early adopter.

Then my beloved hubster brought me a Kindle for Christmas. Great, I thought, what am I going to do with that? My friend showed me his Kindle – he had all the book collections I wanted and they were all in one place! I decided that perhaps this newfangled contraption wouldn’t be so bad after all and dipped a toe in the water.

As a speed reader, reading on the Kindle is downright dangerous and pressing that next button is like an addiction. Not really knowing how big your books is or where the end of the next chapter lies really adds to the mystery of it all.

However, I missed the feel of book and that lovely smell and the beautiful sound you get when pages are turned. I was completely conflicted. What did I read on? Kindle or book? Could I really do both? How could I make it work?

For a while, it was a no brainer. I worked in London and I had to commute. The Kindle was perfect, it held lots of books, was lightweight and relatively easy to read in the rush-hour tube crush. But then I lost my job and had kids and reading became a fond and distant memory. I kept making new resolutions to read more and would take several books out of the library to have them languish sadly in a pile. I would set myself ebook-reading goals, forget them, then remember them and discover my Kindle was out of battery.

After surviving the creation of two beloved monsters and cultivated a to-be-read list most definitely taller than me, I realised I had to stop worrying about what format to read in and just get on with the business of book consumption.

Now I read exclusively paper books at nighttime. My collection of bookmarks rejoices. I read kindle at mealtimes (I know, but I do) and whilst out travelling without children and on the sofa during CBeebies marathons. My books-read ratio is improving and I no longer feel guilty about what type of book format I am reading. The pile of paperbacks beside my bed is growing but in a healthy, I can’t wait to read that kind of way. My conflict is resolved!

Then I realised I could read books on my phone…

Join Claire on Goodreads and discover how she handles a 5k plus To-Be-Read shelf.

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